I wanted to make grain and dairy free crust for savoury tarts and quiches without coconut oil and flour, which are nearly compulsory ingredients in majority of grain and dairy free bakes without tapioca, buckwheat and quinoa.
Though I can use butter, as it is clear from the ingredient list for this blog, I decided against it, to be able to create the recipe for truly grain and dairy free crust. My goal was to create the crust able to serve 2 purposes: to make savoury tarts and quiches, but also to bake empty shells for individual medium tarts and mini tartlets to use them for serving salads or as canapés base.
for the crust, makes 6-8 medium size individual cases
I baked only 4 and use the rest of the dough to experiment with baking and freezing
- 160g ground whole almonds with skin
- 40g ground flaxseeds
- 80g (1/2 medium) avocado, just starting to become soft, not overly ripe
- 1 egg white, for the reference mine was 34g
- 1/2 tea spoon of sea salt (taste the dough to make sure it is seasoned well)
- pinch of dry thyme and rosemary (can be substituted for any other spices you like, or omitted altogether)
for tart filling, enough to fill 4 individual tarts
- 105g canned salmon, I used wild pink salmon, no salt added
- 1 grated zucchini
- 1 grated large carrot
- 1 egg yolk (leftover from the crust) and 2 whole large eggs
- 1/2 bunch of fresh dill
- 1/2 small red capsicum, chopped
- 2 tea spoons my own garlic and chili peppers paste (use any spices you like)
- 1 table spoon whole chia seeds 5g
- salt and pepper to taste, adjust depending on how salty is your canned salmon
Tart filling is given just an example, you can use any ingredients and make the tart vegetarian with only fresh or roasted vegetables, or use cooked and shredded chicken or turkey breast, or canned tuna instead of salmon.
- grind whole almonds and flaxseeds
- sift almond and flaxseed meal and mix them together
- separate an egg
- puree half of avocado
- mix avocado puree with egg white until fully combined
- add sifted almond and flaxseed mix to wet ingredients
- mix everything together and make a ball
- make the dough flat, cover it with glad wrap and refrigerate for 30-60min
- roll the crust between 2 sheets of baking paper, starting with more pressing motion, and rolling motion thereafter
- peel baking paper and apply it again to uneven surface, it is done without any difficulties
- the dough can be rolled very thin, I made it 2mm
- use cookie cutters to cut the size you want for your individual size tart cases, or make 1 medium size tart or quiche
- blind bake the crust if using thin shallow baking cases, for 10-12 min in preheated to 160C fan forced oven
- bake individual tarts and quiches with fillings when using deeper baking cases for tarts
For the filling
- drain canned salmon and discard all liquid
- grate vegetables
- lightly beat eggs
- combine all ingredients together
- add chia seeds (in case the mix is very wet)
- use the filling for either blind baked or fresh crust
- bake in preheated to 160C fan forced oven, until the filling is set
The crust had enough fats to be used without greasing non stick individual tart cases. However, after baking in ceramic baking cases, without applying any oil, I had to use sharp knife to separate the crust from the sides, but the bottom separated without any difficulties.
Both bakes were successful, the crust was dry and fully baked in blind baked tarts and in “one go” bake.
It was completely obvious for me, that the best results were achieved with a simple bake of fresh crust, together with the filling in a non-stick individual tart cases. These cases did not have the removable bottom, but there were no problems of taking tarts out of their baking cases. I have frozen the crust to test how it will be baked after defrosting, I will report that later.
Overall the dough was easy to work with. When I rolled part of it too thin, I scraped it, made another ball, and rolled the dough again. In all these processes I used and reused the same 2 sheets of baking paper. It was very easy to peel the paper and separate it from the dough. It terms of taste the crust was excellent for salmon tart, but I am not sure it would be good as the shell for fresh salads. It is too dry. Mine also lacked seasoning, which was nicely balanced in a tart by having salmon with spiced vegetables. This dough can be baked as very thin crackers, if you want to use meat or fish with quite wet sauce, for example your own homemade mayonnaise.
Positive aspects of the crust:
- only 4 main ingredients
- easy to make
- easy to work with
- easy to bake
- keeps the shape well
- good nutritional balance of protein, fat, carbs and fibre
- can be used with any savoury ingredients in fillings
- no coconut taste, prohibitive with some savoury ingredients
Negative aspects of the crust:
- dry texture, not suitable for all needs
Comments about freezing and defrosting to be added later.